Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian and British parents. At eighteen she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in prerevolutionary Iran and how she gradually became aware of the paradoxes in her life and community--primarily the disparate religions and cultures.
In 1979 under the Ayatollah regime, Iran became increasingly unfamiliar and hostile to Saper. Seemingly overnight she went from living a carefree life of wearing miniskirts and attending high school to listening to fanatic diatribes, forced to wear the hijab, and hiding in the basement as Iraqi bombs fell over the city. In 1987 she fled to the United States with her husband and children. At the heart of Saper's story is a harrowing and instructive tale of how extremist ideologies seized a Westernized, affluent country and transformed it into a fundamentalist Islamic society.
"From Miniskirt to Hijab is a deeply moving memoir that vividly details the struggle of human life--both collective and individual--under authoritarian rule. Saper's insightful and compelling narrative is extraordinary in its use of personal perspective to mourn the rapid loss of Iran's once progressive society. This book is both an important historical account and a cautionary tale, a poignant reminder of the devastating impact an unchecked regime has on its unwilling participants."--Bardia Fard, chapter president of the Iranian-American Bar Association
Jacqueline Saper is a CPA, educator, translator, and public speaker. An expert on Iranian subject matter, her opinion columns and articles regularly appear in national and international publications. Learn more at JacquelineSaper.com.
2020 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award in Traditional Nonfiction